A lot of students choose to take a break and explore the world before they enter the employment market. Many of them take a gap year to get some traveling done. Yet, it is important to know that future employers in some industries will not recognize a one-year traveling break as something positive, although it may have been an excellent experience for you.

But what if you chose the opportunity of being able to combine traveling without compromising your education and career?

International summer schools and study abroad programs offer many benefits that will provide you with new skills and experiences. Besides, social networks are also important, and you will meet different people from all over the world. Global study exchange programs will help you develop an insight into international business, new cultures, and social networking. These soft skills will also positively impact your future career opportunities.

Study abroad, first day of summer school

Project management and problem-solving

Studying abroad brings new challenges that you wouldn’t have the opportunity to face if you have only studied in your own country. With experience abroad, you will develop career skills that will help you organize the time and processes to juggle between your commitments. You will have to split your time between study assignments and responsibilities, and simultaneously learn to adapt to a new lifestyle that comes with a new culture and language. In the real world, this translates to developing skills to become a master in managing projects, which will be recognized by your future employers.

You will be placed in an environment where you may be away from home for the first time and thus need to learn how to take care of yourself, be it checking in with a local doctor, preparing healthy meals, or at some point calling a plumber in a foreign language. You will take the initiative and develop problem-solving skills that you can later transfer to the business environment.

Learning a new language enhances communication skills

It is quite different to learn a new language at home through books and online courses and to experience the language in daily conversations when talking to locals, by reading the news in the local language, and being surrounded by the new language wherever you go. Many international summer schools and study exchange programs also offer intensive classes where you can learn a foreign language.

Research shows that foreign language skills are on employers’ priority list when hiring new workers, especially if the company does business in an international environment. If you would like to master communication skills, then it makes sense to choose a study abroad experience in a country where you will learn their language.

Gaining cultural knowledge for an international career

Studying abroad is an excellent opportunity for students who would like to pursue a career in global business. For companies that conduct business activities across borders, international experience and worldliness are particularly important. You can gain these skills by exposing yourself to different cultures, which will allow you to look at things from a different perspective in terms of beliefs, opinions, and cultural characteristics.

By meeting people from all over the world and opening your eyes to different cultures, you will encounter many opportunities to challenge your grounded beliefs and broaden your horizons in learning about the diversity of habits and customs. Applying for international jobs will be easier when you can highlight your study abroad experience and knowledge in your CV. You can ask your professors and lecturers in a study exchange program or an international summer school for recommendation letters.

Building a global network of contacts

When studying abroad, you will form new connections with people from all over the world, and many of them will last a lifetime. Student exchange programs and summer schools aim to encourage international collaboration between students from diverse backgrounds through various activities. It will allow you to make new connections with other students and with companies that are doing business in the field of your studies.  

An established global network of contacts will benefit you as you return home and begin searching for new career opportunities. If you manage to build and maintain connections with people around the world, you are improving your chances of achieving long-term career goals. Studying abroad will equip you with communication and soft skills that will help you to interact in the business environment more easily and confidently with people who come from other cultures with different customs and beliefs.

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